Ask Chip: Human Resources

Child Care

Question: I would like to know if it’s possible to have day care at Sibley. It is so hard to find child care that matches the time we get out of work. I also think it will be a great benefit for those who have kids. It would also mean less stress for employees about who will pick up their child. Also, it will help with getting to work on time and reduce stress because we would be able to check in on the child’s well-being.

Answer: Thank you for your question. I agree such a service would be of value to our staff and we have been examining this possibility. There are many factors to be considered, including the cost of establishing and maintaining a day care center, space needs, necessary staff and regulatory and licensing requirements. Nevertheless, we are committed to evaluating the feasibility of offering this service. We will keep you updated as we continue our exploration of this possibility. Thanks for a great question!

Educational Benefits

Question: I understand there is an educational benefit for all employees, which depending on their status, full time employees are eligible to receive up to $5,000 every fiscal year. The program at GWU graduate school is $75,000 a year, so the educational benefits at Sibley will not cover this tuition. Since I do not plan on attending GWU for their M.H.A. program, I am still interested in using my $5,000 educational funds by being a member of the American Public Health Association and attending their annual conference. I already signed up to be a member ($85 annual cost). Can I get reimbursed for this?

Answer: Thanks for your question. In accordance with our current policy, educational assistance can only be used for tuition at an accredited institution for undergraduate or graduate courses. Accordingly, education assistance cannot be used for conferences and/or seminars. However, some hospital departments do have limited funds for such educational purposes and I urge you to check with your manager to see if such continuing education funds are available.

Instituting a Telecommuting Policy

Question: Everybody commutes to get here to Sibley, whether its 30 minutes or two hours, and with the commute and the ever-changing weather, not to mention any personal issues that may arise, most notably: a child who has to stay home from school due to illness: is it possible to institute a policy where department managers have the latitude to allow their employees to telework from home, without burning a paid day of leave. All necessary resources are accessible through MyJH, most significant of all: Epic.

Answer: Thanks for your question. We actually do have a Telecommuting/Remote Work Policy. There is an icon on our computer desktops labeled “hospital policies.” Once you’ve activated that link, you simply click on the “management link” which is where HR policies are housed. The policy on telecommuting is designated #03-21-70. In general, telecommuting is permitted for some employees and some positions. It is permitted in accordance with our policy and eligibility for telecommuting is at the discretion of the manager.

ASR Pay

Question: As you know we work tirelessly and I personally give it my all every day. We do a lot of the grunt work for our unit. The other administrative service representatives and I feel like we are underpaid. The nurses and doctors get raises but why not us? There are high expectations of us but such little pay. I’ve done some research and compared to other organizations such as Medstar and Kaiser we are beneath everyone. I love Sibley and feel like it’s a great place to work but we also need to be treated fairly. I know Hopkins has the money to do such. We have money to build a new hospital, order new uniforms, innovation hubs, juice bars, why can’t we find the money to take care of our staff? A happy employee is a productive employee.

Answer: Thanks for your questions and I absolutely agree that happy employees are productive employees. We look at all positions annually through participation in compensation surveys. We do not strive to be the highest paying organization (as is Medstar and Kaiser) but we do aim to be competitive. Unlike many organizations, we also provide free parking and a comprehensive package of benefits that is among the best in the region. When the market calls for an adjustment to a particular position we address accordingly.  In fact, our HR team is meeting with the external consultant next week to get an update on the full hospital analysis that she is doing for us.  We are not finished. We will look at this position and many others in the months to come.

Retirement Savings

Question: With retirement savings being a controversial issue for Americans on a national stage, are there any plans to increase Sibley’s match? Sibley’s match seems to be half of the national average and from what I understand Hopkins employees have a much more favorable match. The younger generations put a large emphasis on this when selecting employment opportunities and this could help in recruiting a young and knowledgeable workforce.

Answer: Thanks for your question. Increasing the match will be a financial decision made by the pension committee. Hopkins froze their pension plan for new participants and new participants are enrolled in the match plan. Also, in addition to the match, benefits eligible participants receive a basic hospital contribution from Sibley. New hires on avg. start at one percent of pay and the percentage increases with age and service to Sibley to max cap of three percent of compensation.

PDL

Question: I have heard rumors that Johns Hopkins will be changing the PDL from 520 hours carry over to 350 hours. Is there any truth to this?

Answer: I’m happy to say that this is indeed only a rumor.  I am not aware of any plans to change our PDL.

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